Development and testing of an unmanned aerial vehicle for large scale particle image velocimetry

Christopher Pagano, Flavia Tauro, Salvatore Grimaldi, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Large scale particle image velocimetry (LSPIV) is a nonintrusive environmental monitoring methodology that allows for continuous characterization of surface flows in natural catchments. Despite its promise, the implementation of LSPIV in natural environments is limited to areas accessible to human operators. In this work, we propose a novel experimental configuration that allows for unsupervised LSPIV over large water bodies. Specifically, we design, develop, and characterize a lightweight, low cost, and stable quadricopter hosting a digital acquisition system. An active gimbal maintains the camera lens orthogonal to the water surface, thus preventing severe image distortions. Field experiments are performed to characterize the vehicle and assess the feasibility of the approach. We demonstrate that the quadricopter can hover above an area of 1 × 1m2 for 4-5 minutes with a payload of 500g. Further, LSPIV measurements on a natural stream confirm that the methodology can be reliably used for surface flow studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIndustrial Applications; Modeling for Oil and Gas, Control and Validation, Estimation, and Control of Automotive Systems; Multi-Agent and Networked Systems; Control System Design; Physical Human-Robot Interaction; Rehabilitation Robotics; Sensing and Actuation for Control; Biomedical Systems; Time Delay Systems and Stability; Unmanned Ground and Surface Robotics; Vehicle Motion Controls; Vibration Analysis and Isolation; Vibration and Control for Energy Harvesting; Wind Energy
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9780791846209
StatePublished - 2014
EventASME 2014 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2014 - San Antonio, United States
Duration: Oct 22 2014Oct 24 2014

Publication series

NameASME 2014 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2014


OtherASME 2014 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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